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Analyst Blog

Shares of Southside Bancshares Inc. hit a new 52-week high, touching $26.09 in the first half of the trading session on Aug 7. However, the stock closed the session at $25.61, reflecting a year-to-date return of 27.2%. The trading volume for the session was 53,730 shares.

Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) bank has considerable upside left, given its positive estimate revisions over the past 30 days.

Growth Drivers

Southside Bancshares’ impressive price performance reflects solid second-quarter 2013 results, including positive earnings surprise of 36.6%, improving capital ratios and growth in average loans and deposits.

On Jul 25, Southside Bancshares declared earnings per share of 56 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 41 cents and higher than the prior-year quarter figure of 42 cents.

Southside Bancshares’ net income of $10.1 million was up 30.3% from the year-ago quarter. The rise was primarily driven by higher net interest income, decreases in provision for loan losses and Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) impairment charges, partially offset by increased operating expense. Further, net interest margin improved 26 basis points to 3.47% from the prior-quarter figure of 3.21%.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

In the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 19.6% to $1.65 per share. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced marginally to $1.25 per share over the same time frame.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other banks that are worth considering include Prosperity Bancshares Inc. , First Financial Bankshares Inc. and Southwest Bancorp Inc. . While Prosperity Bancshares has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both First Financial and  Southwest Bancorp carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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